Lions have mastered this skill… how about you?

In a lion pride, team selection and membership is an essential part of their survival. For lions, especially when they are hunting big prey like buffaloes it is a life or death issue.

Having the right team members on the hunt not only ensures their success but also guarantees their safety. Here there is no place for complacency, confusion or personal positioning and ego. It is about getting the job done and ensuring the wellbeing of the pride.

In organisations the consequences of getting team membership wrong is not so immediately felt. But it’s essential nevertheless.

In fact it is the # 1 executive skill.

Who should be in the key seats around the table is a skill every leader has to master. It is essential to be rigorous about people decisions. If you get this wrong, especially at the top, the whole organisation suffers.

Recently my friend Ian Thomas – best selling author of Power of the Pride, and team expert, and I caught up to talk about this subject. Ian has spent his life studying lion prides and bringing the lessons back for business people.

In this short three-part series we talk about team membership, dealing with passengers on the team, trust and goal setting. We hope that these are useful, fun, and helpful to you!

Getting Team Membership Right

In the next video we will focus on dealing with passengers and poor-performance.

With the right people in place you can now focus on accelerating your growth and building a healthy organisation – one that is future focused, outward looking and entrepreneurial. Vital qualities that every CEO I talk to deem essential to their success.

For more articles and resources visit our websites. and Or you can follow us on Instagram at @grant.ashfield and @ian_s_thomas.

Please comment below. We love hearing from you. We will send each person who comments a free copy of Ian’s book – The Power of the Pride. * limited to the first 10 comments

13 replies
  1. Steve Hall
    Steve Hall says:

    As usual, brilliant stuff !
    It is high time we all went tracking again together!
    The comments on the analogy are as apt today as ever, and it has always been a privilege learning from you both and working with you !!
    Well done,

  2. Brian
    Brian says:

    Not only leaders, but team members should be more aware of nature as there is much to learn from the smallest of animals to the predators as reflected in this article.
    To me, two of the most important attributes required in a team are, get rid of individual egos and share the victories and failures together and secondly, humility, which both go a long way to unity, liberty and a healthy working team.

  3. Glen
    Glen says:

    An interesting way to put forward ways of working that is often missed. Building a team of professionals that are engaged with clear skills and expectations is critical to success. A really good clip to start you thinking!

  4. Dimitri Androliakos
    Dimitri Androliakos says:

    The importance of this article cannot be over-emphasized. Unity of vision and purpose is so important for the ultimate achievement of interdependence amongst the top team members. I have always been a firm believer that co-dependence or independence does not contribute to, or foster a successful performing partnership. Equally important is to identify team members who are not part of the thread of success and only create ‘road blocks’ and remove them as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence.

  5. ernie pienaar
    ernie pienaar says:

    To be a leader in your environment (as in the lions’ environment) you need to be an expert in your
    job. If you lead people who are not directly in line with your profession you must still have a reasonable knowledge about their activities.


    I love the analogy using the power of the pride, it makes absolute sense and easy to understand. This keeps you focused for the survival of your organisation as people can make or break an organisation.

  7. Brian
    Brian says:

    I have found that the analogies between animals in the wild and the lessons that can be learnt/ applied into business, especially with regard to team work, to be very interesting.

  8. lerato
    lerato says:

    Amazing and true….it takes this kind of strategy and in-built skill to build enduring teams – both in terms of performance prowess and sticking together through thick & thin!

  9. Sian
    Sian says:

    I think this concept is absolutely brilliant and it makes me rethink the way I approach situations as well.

  10. Annandale Bill
    Annandale Bill says:

    I am not so sure about the book being my motivation to respond but I absolutely agree that having the right team is crucial. It’s an aspect that many people miss, preferring not to “ruffle feathers” within the establishment.
    Having the courage to identify whom to “kill” in the existing team is fundamental and is another type of skill that needs mastery, apart from the actual team building aspect.

  11. Julie Hulme
    Julie Hulme says:

    It is true that without desire and passion to succeed, you are doomed to failure. The message I have taken from this is that the team must know each others roles and have the combined commitment to deliver for the team. Looking forward to the next video!

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